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Boondocking in the Woods of Northern Michigan

| Updated Jun 16, 2023

Wanna know what makes boondocking even more fun? Sharing it with your granddaughters.

The two track we took in
The two track we took in

We retreated to our favorite boondocking spot in Michigan, some family property up in the woods of Ogemaw County, about a dozen miles east of West Branch. The 200-acre spread takes up both sides of the Rifle River and borders state land so we really can escape.

Our kids all grew up coming up here every weekend Jenifer and I could so it was a special treat to take Hua Hua, 13, and Rachel, 10, to the their Mom, Wendy's, favorite spot. We hiked with the girls and found the exact location where we used to camp in a pop-up, took a photo and texted it to their mom.


Bo guarding the site
Bo guarding the site

The boondocking campsite we use is very remote, two miles off a two lane state road on a county road, then a mile into the woods on a two-track overlooking a bend of the river along a high sandy bank. Bo gets to run free, off leash.

Later on, when we did a Facebook Live video feed from the site, son, Jeffrey, who also grew up camping up here, was among the live viewers, watching with his 17-month-old daughter, Jovie, who will also surely come here some day.

Here's our Facebook Live video feed:

Hua Hua, who is the family artist, began a colored pencil drawing of our Roadtrek that I will hang on my office wall.

We made our favorite camping meal, Jennifer's “Boondocking Bonanza,” a mix of hamburger, canned corn, sliced potatoes and onions that we wrap up tight in tin foil and stick in the fire or on a grill.

At night, we made S'mores around the campfire, told some stories and headed inside the Roadtrek to watch a DVD of Narnia before bedtime


Our campsite
Our campsite

The temperature dropped to 45 degrees overnight.

The girls were toasty comfy in the Roadtrek, Hua Hua and Jennifer slept on the two beds in the back. Rachel slept on a four inch thick mattress-pad that we put across the two front seats.


Our foil wrapped Boondocking Bonanaza meals
Our foil wrapped Boondocking Bonanaza meals

Mike and Bo's spent the night in tent. It was a mixed experience. Bo loved it, curled up sled-dog style next to Mike, who tossed and turned all night long on the hard ground because he disregarded Jennifer's suggestion to bring an air mattress and instead settled for an inadequate inch and a half thick foam pad.


The high banks view of the Rifle River
The high banks view of the Rifle River

Lesson learned.

Great time had by all, though, with lots of memories.

We all love to hike and explore
We all love to hike and explore
Bo loves being free!
Bo loves being free!


Mike Wendland

Published on 2016-09-24

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

64 Responses to “Boondocking in the Woods of Northern Michigan”

September 26, 2016at7:58 pm, John Lockhart said:

How about some details on that dinner? Do you add any seasoning, butter, etc. Cooking technique?

Sounds like a great outing!

September 23, 2016at7:26 pm, Kathy Shanteau said:

S’mores tonight yummm

September 23, 2016at7:23 pm, Kathy Shanteau said:

My feed is fine too

September 23, 2016at7:21 pm, Joette George said:

Great reception in Northville. MI.

September 23, 2016at7:19 pm, Chris Harwood said:

Why are the images flipped – your RT looks like it opens on the UK side? – must be a camera function

September 23, 2016at7:18 pm, Jeff Wendland said:

Jovie is so excited to see her cousins

September 23, 2016at7:12 pm, Joette George said:

Suppose to say ” with dogs”

September 23, 2016at7:11 pm, Joette George said:

Any problems with ticks up there, particularly witht

September 23, 2016at7:10 pm, Debra Dennis Hopson said:

No problems in Alabama.

September 23, 2016at7:09 pm, Kathy Shanteau said:

Hi mike and Jen and girls???

September 23, 2016at7:03 pm, Jim Blair said:

Jim and Cindy Blair checking in !

September 23, 2016at7:01 pm, Jeff Wendland said:

Jovie keeps asking to see her cousins

September 23, 2016at7:00 pm, Jeff Wendland said:

Hi girls, how’s the water?

September 23, 2016at6:57 pm, Jeff Wendland said:

Jovie is watching

September 23, 2016at6:50 pm, Drew Basse said:

Incredible girls. You guys are the best!

September 23, 2016at6:46 pm, Ed Frambes said:

Thanks, for sharing! Be Safe!

September 23, 2016at6:41 pm, Carol Neumann said:

Thanks for this podcast

September 23, 2016at6:40 pm, Kristi Kiki Dunigan said:

Hey Mike, I love your secret spot!!!!!!

September 23, 2016at6:40 pm, Karen Shapland said:

Trout for breakfast

September 23, 2016at6:40 pm, John Spears said:

Looks like a lot of fun!

September 23, 2016at6:39 pm, Rhonda Richway Phipps said:

Hi from the sugar beet counters!!!

September 23, 2016at6:39 pm, Kevin Osborn said:

Love the pod cast

September 23, 2016at6:39 pm, Dan Hallinan said:

Hey M & J….looking good

September 23, 2016at6:38 pm, Linda LeMaire-Reaux said:

Air mattress works great…

September 23, 2016at6:38 pm, Tim Bucher said:

Sleep on the chair

September 23, 2016at6:38 pm, Deborah Smith said:

I hope you’ve all got down vests. Brrrr!

September 23, 2016at6:37 pm, Monica Lewis said:

What adorable girls!

September 23, 2016at6:36 pm, Michael Wilson said:

What’s for dinner?

September 23, 2016at6:36 pm, David Staggs said:

Hi Mike and Gang

September 23, 2016at6:36 pm, Helen Steinheider said:

Mike, you need one of those new trailers shown in Hershey show.

September 23, 2016at6:36 pm, Mary Jane Curry said:

Hi Mike and Jennifer. See you in the Porkies!

September 23, 2016at6:35 pm, Keith Osborne said:

Looks like a great spot! Similar to our family’s place north of Calgary in Canada.

September 23, 2016at6:35 pm, Wendy Wendland Bowyer said:

Jessica and the gang of girls say hi to Hua Hua and Rachel (I am typing the message for them)

September 23, 2016at6:35 pm, Jay Santiago said:

Looks like a fun time

September 23, 2016at6:35 pm, Shelley Rosendale Blachuta said:

Enjoy the campfire! Have fun!

September 23, 2016at6:35 pm, Karen Shapland said:

How do you keep Beau from running off after deer

September 23, 2016at6:35 pm, William Browne said:

See you soon in the Porkies

September 23, 2016at6:34 pm, Shirley Joiner said:

This is your best video cast ever.

September 23, 2016at6:34 pm, Jay Santiago said:

Kicking on the heat tonight?

September 23, 2016at6:33 pm, Tim Bucher said:

Is that public property or private

September 23, 2016at6:32 pm, Tim Bucher said:

Hershey chocolate in frid

September 23, 2016at6:31 pm, Dean Neumann said:

What did you use to remove the limbs?

September 23, 2016at6:31 pm, Ronald Winston Fullerton said:

Very good signal here in NB Canada.

September 23, 2016at6:31 pm, Linda LeMaire-Reaux said:

Once in a while it hiccups, but it gets OK right away…Mississippi…

September 23, 2016at6:31 pm, Diane Crabtree Owens said:

Great in North Carolina

September 23, 2016at6:31 pm, Karen Shapland said:

It’s good here!

September 23, 2016at6:30 pm, Judy Palmer said:

I have one..of those recliners…but not fit in my 170….

September 23, 2016at6:30 pm, William Browne said:

Keep losing you, buffers a long time

September 23, 2016at6:30 pm, Helen Steinheider said:

Great feed in Nebraska

Comments are closed.

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